Anonymous, 10 Dec 2019
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Transnational Civil Society, Institution-Building, and IT: Reflections from the Middle East

Transnational Civil Society, Institution-Building, and IT: Reflections from the Middle East
The important connectives of transnational civil society and information technology will not arise from enhanced agency, or 'empowerment,' or from enhanced consciousness that such technologies undoubtedly assist.  They will come with institutions that emerge by successfully merging IT with transnationalism and 'civil' society such that each conveys its properties to the other.  How to conceptualize and understand these properties is a compelling need for social theory.  Comparative study of the Internet in the Middle East, together with its supporting and related technologies, points to the crucial role of alliance-building and coalitions that underlie the creation of new institutions.  Some of the less-evident ones are the more transnational and 'civil,' providing points of comparison - even suggesting potential future directions - to others not so apparently transnational or civil.  Some of these elements include engineering cultures and the more general practices of thought they privilege, alumni networks that link these cultures with more material resources but also importantly with social capital, and how those pull or are pulled together in projects that are expanding the envelope for IT generally and for its most prominent proxy and gathering point in the region, the Internet.
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